Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: E-Commerce

German universities looking to pursue alternatives to Elsevier journal access

Follow up to Academic institutions in Germany continue to cancel journal subscriptions as costs soar see Loans between libraries, and research sharing between colleagues, could allow country to sever links, negotiators claim

“German universities have coped “easily” when cut off from Elsevier journals and do not need to rely on pirate article-sharing sites such as Sci-Hub, according to a negotiator from Germany’s biggest network of research centres. Martin Köhler, who has helped to lead negotiations between the Dutch publishing giant and the Helmholtz Association, gave Times Higher Education details of Germany’s strategy to survive “no deal” with Elsevier – shedding some light on whether other countries could take a similar stance. A consortium of all German research organisations is locked in hostile and so far unsuccessful contract negotiations with Elsevier, demanding full open access for German-authored papers and a model in which they pay per article published, not a flat journal subscription fee. Part of their strategy is to demonstrate that German academics can operate without Elsevier subscriptions, and an increasing number of institutions have said they will not renew their contracts at the end of the year, now including the vast majority of Helmholtz centres, which have a combined revenue of €4.38 billion (£4 billion). At the beginning of 2017, after negotiations faltered, some German universities went briefly without Elsevier access before the publisher restored it free of charge, giving Germany a dry run of what a national severance might be like. Dr Köhler said that at two major German universities that were cut off in January, which he declined to identify, there were only “tens” of requests by academics to their libraries for papers they could no longer access, an unexpectedly low number. These were “easily handled with an inter-library loan”, he explained, Germany’s “main strategy” for coping without Elsevier. In almost every case, other libraries were able to send an article electronically “within a day”, he said, and while there is a fee, it is much smaller than paying per article. The right to loan articles is “deeply engraved” into German law, he explained, and publishers have to allow it unless libraries can pay per article at a reasonable price…”

Google Developer Documentation Style Guide

Google Developer Documentation Style Guide “This style guide provides a set of editorial guidelines for anyone writing developer documentation for Google-related projects. Goals and audience – The primary goal of this guide is to codify and record decisions that Google’s Developer Relations group makes about style. The guide can help you avoid making decisions about… Continue Reading

New studies continue to predict troubled waters ahead for paywall journals

Phys.org – “Two independent studies looking at two aspects of paywalls versus free access to research papers suggest that trouble may lie ahead for traditional journals that continue to expect payment for access to peer-reviewed research papers. In the first study, a small team of researchers from the U.S. and Germany looked at the number… Continue Reading

New Yorker – Who Owns the Internet?

Who Owns the Internet? What Big Tech’s monopoly powers mean for our culture. “…Today, just about everybody uses it for everything. Even as the Web has grown, however, it has narrowed. Google now controls nearly ninety per cent of search advertising, Facebook almost eighty per cent of mobile social traffic, and Amazon about seventy-five per… Continue Reading

Buzzfeed News Analysis – Inside The Partisan Fight For Your News Feed

How ideologues, opportunists, growth hackers, and internet marketers built a massive new universe of partisan news on the web and on Facebook. “The most comprehensive study to date of the growing universe of partisan websites and Facebook pages about US politics reveals that in 2016 alone at least 187 new websites launched, and that the… Continue Reading

Myth of one internet has morphed into reality of the ‘splinternet’

August 4, 2017, Terry Flew: “Both The Economist and WIRED are worried about the “splinternet”. The UK research organisation NESTA thinks it could “break up” the world wide web as we know it. What is this awkwardly named idea? It’s the concept that someone’s experience of the internet in Turkey, for example, is increasingly different… Continue Reading

Elsevier acquires bepress – leading showcase of academic research

News release: “Elsevier, the global information analytics business specializing in science and health, today acquired bepress, a Berkeley, California-based business that helps academic libraries showcase and share their institutions’ research for maximum impact. Founded by three University of California, Berkeley professors in 1999, bepress allows institutions to collect, organize, preserve and disseminate their intellectual output,… Continue Reading

EPIC Files FTC Complaint to Stop Google from Tracking In-Store Purchases

“EPIC has filed a complaint with the FTC asking the Commission to investigate Google’s tracking of in-store purchases. According to EPIC, Google collects billions of credit and debit card transactions and then links that personal data to the activities of Internet users. Google claims that it protects online privacy but refuses to reveal details of… Continue Reading

Sci-Hub’s cache of pirated papers continues to expand with ramifications for subscription journals

Sci-Hub’s cache of pirated papers is so big, subscription journals are doomed, data analyst suggests: “There is no doubt that Sci-Hub, the infamous—and, according to a U.S. court, illegal—online repository of pirated research papers, is enormously popular. (See Science’s investigation last year of who is downloading papers from Sci-Hub.) But just how enormous is its… Continue Reading

Study Shows Difference in Ranking Videos on Google and YouTube of 56%

Stone Temple: “Count on it: Google is going to optimize for the best combination of user experience/satisfaction (market share) and revenue on each of its platforms. What users expect on YouTube vs. Google Search is different. Stating that a bit more subtly, think of this as optimizing their ongoing revenue over time. With that in… Continue Reading

New site focuses on selling food and household essentials for $3 or less

Fast Company – This New Site Sells Food And Household Essentials–All For $3 Or Less “Brandless wants to do away with corporate markups on everyday products, from corkscrews to organic maple syrup…Sharkey and Leffler set out to create a new landing point for a consumer who’s looking for quality and transparency, and eschews brand loyalty… Continue Reading

Major news organizations seek help from Congress for collective bargaining with Alphabet and Facebook

News Outlets to Seek Right to Bargain With Online Giants – “A group of news organizations plans to ask Congress for the right to negotiate with platforms like Google and Facebook, which are gaining greater shares of digital advertising and distribution.” Continue Reading